Sunday, 30 January 2011


"Corporations and governments are not being lax in the face of peak oil. No way. They are busy extending their paradigms of abuse into ecosystems across the globe. Maybe it is this: that the end of cheap energy spells the end of cheap power. So cheap energy must be pursued at all costs. Those costs, of course, include land grabbing, land poisoning, destruction of communities, destruction of ecosystems:
"The results are the expansion of forest monocultures in poor countries, the occupation and degradation of territories and productive lands, the installation of industrial plants in the South, the worsening of living conditions and quality of life in occupied territories, the violation of rights, particularly serious impacts on women and excluded population groups, concentration of power in corporations which control the right to property and technologies, as well as the risk of contamination to a degree which cannot be predicted. …It is very well-known, the companies of the cellulose sector and paper install their plantations in the countries of the South, where besides having the mentioned conditions – low costs and big quantities – the environmental, social and labor legislations are lax and they allow the violation of multiple environmental rights and of the communities. …[R]esearch on new raw materials for fuels, primarily cellulosic ethanol and genetically modified trees is carried out by universities or research institutes in industrialized countries and is funded by multinationals forest and/or energy, a situation which is repeated with the development of technologies, marketing and other stages of the chain. Thus replicates and maintains the colonialist model in terms of energy, technology and economics that has characterized North-South relations.”
An added layer of disgusting interest is that this is done under the banner of saving the planet. It is renewable. It is sustainable. It is a carbon sink. All these things are, of course, untrue. The pivotal sleight of hand in this process of deception is the expansion of the definition of the word ‘forest’. More forest is a good thing, right? Everyone knows that. Except that under the definitions of various international climate agreements and accords, eucalyptus plantations are now ‘forests’. As are jatropha plantations. As are palm oil plantations. As are pine plantations. What I wish everyone did know is that these monocultures are not forests.


There are complex international carbon trading schemes to support this abuse. In Britain, taxpayer’s money goes to subsidise the building of building biomass power plants because they are classed as “renewable” energy producers. This biomass will not come from the diverse, scenic oakwoods of this privileged island. Oh no. It will come from industrial plantations.

This is all neocolonialism with an environmental twist. It is eco-colonialism."

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